What’s On for Christmas on the Gold Coast 2023

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It’s all getting very festive on the Gold Coast as we get closer to the big day on the 25 December. There are so many wonderfully celebratory Christmas events happening in the run up to Christmas, you won’t want to miss out. Eat your weight in festive treats, sing along to some Christmas carols or maybe watch some Christmas fireworks!

And if you are looking for where to eat Christmas lunch, this Christmas Day dining article will help you out! It won’t be hard to have a very merry Christmas on the Gold Coast so here are our top things to do on the Gold Coast for a great Christmas this December.

RELATED: If you are planning a Gold Coast Christmas party and hunting for a great venue, we know that too! And if you want someone to help you style your party, check out these Gold Coast party planners!

Movie World White Christmas

Movie World white Christmas

Movie World White Christmas is back to ramp up the Christmas cheer with a whopping great offering of sparkling Christmas displays, live entertainment, kids activities and lots more – an unmissable experience for kids and adults alike looking to liven up the excitement for this year’s Christmas countdown. From the spectacular annual White Christmas Parade to festive carollin and live family shows, there is something to get everyone in the festive spirit at Movie World White Christmas!

Where: Movie World

When: 8 – 23 December – 5:30 – 8:30pm

There are more details on Movie World White Christmas here.

The Sharks Christmas Family Night

It’s a fantastic night out for kids… whether they’ve been naughty or nice.

Join the Sharks for a Christmas themed buffet and Kids Show with a special appearance from Santa!

  • Christmas themed buffet dinner
  • Kids Christmas Show by LOL Crew
  • FREE Face Painting
  • FREE Christmas Goodies for the Kids
  • Christmas Carols
  • Special appearance by Santa Claus and his friend, Mr Sharky

Where: Southport Sharks

When: Each Sunday 3 – 17 December

Find more information about The Sharks Christmas Family Night here.

Christmas at Sanctuary Cove

Sanctuary Cove is once again transforming into a Christmas wonderland – the must-visit location on the Gold Coast this holiday season! Eat, drink, shop and spread the magic cheer with Sanctuary Cove’s celebratory events and activities.

All December long there will be opportunities throughout Sanctuary Cove to capture the picture-perfect opportunity. Strike a pose aside a Christmas Tree or the gigantic Christmas present, snap a selfie in Santa’s sleigh, or capture the magic moment with Santa Claus himself – dress-ups welcome, and so are your furry friends!

The fun doesn’t stop there! The dining, shopping, and joy-filled precinct set on a backdrop of blue skies, waterfronts and glorious white yachts promises to deliver their inaugural Christmas that families have grown to love.

Where: Sanctuary Cove

When: 8 – 22 December

For more information head to the Sanctuary Cove website.

Christmas Carols

Gold Coast families love a good Christmas carols event.  Our suburbs are filled with these local Gold Coast Christmas carol events that showcase the best of the local carolers. These events support the local community groups and are well worth a visit. There are carols everywhere from Surfers Paradise to your local suburb. Our favourite Christmas carol events across the Gold Coast include:

North Burleigh Carols By The Sea

Join in for a wonderful afternoon and evening of free Christmas entertainment and fun at Ed Hardy Park this December. Presented by Division 12 Councillor Pauline Young, ‘North Burleigh Carols by the Sea’ will provide a festive mixture of children’s activities, food trucks and markets from 4pm to 8pm; followed by Christmas staged entertainment including Carols, Community Groups and Live Music from 6pm to 8pm.

Where: Ed Hardy Park, North Burleigh

When: Thursday 7 December

Find out more about North Burleigh Carols By the Sea here.

Nerang Celebrates Christmas

Take the kids, a picnic blanket, chairs and join the local community for a night of COVID-safe family fun, food and festivities. There will be rides, a sausage sizzle, fairy floss, drinks and a variety of food stalls. Christmas entertainment will start at 3pm, with traditional carols and a visit from Santa from 6pm. The event will finish at 8.30pm.

Where: Bischof Pioneer Park, Nerang

When: Saturday 9 December

The details for Nerang Celebrates Christmas here.

Pacific Pines Christmas Carols

The Carols will be headlined by Guy ‘Mutto’ Mutton from Australian Idol performing with former Ten Tenor Anthony Phipps and the Gold Coast Youth Choir. Of course no Carols are complete without a visit from Gold Coast’s singing Santa. This is no ordinary performance on stage. Get ready for the most exciting and interactive Santa show in Queensland. Join Santa, Mrs Claus and Rudolf for a Christmas extravaganza that includes a mix of traditional carols and current pop songs.

A spectacular fireworks display will complete what will be a brilliant night at 8pm. There’ll be some fabulous food trucks as well as the Pacific Pines Residents Sausage Sizzle and raffles.

Where: Central Park, Pacific Pines

When: 16 December

Find more details on Pacific Pines Christmas Carols here.

Varsity Carols by the Lake

You can celebrate Christmas this year with Carols by the Lake.

This truly unique festive celebration will feature live stage entertainment, Christmas carols, Santa, fireworks over the beautiful Lake Orr and much more! Something for everyone!

This free event is proudly brought to you by Division 11 Councillor Hermann Vorster.

Where: Waterfront Stage, 240 Varsity Parade, Varsity Lakes

When: 9 December

Find the details and link for Varsity Carols by the Lake here.

You can find even more Christmas carols on the Gold Coast here.

Christmas Markets

Tis the season to go shopping and what better place to shop than local Christmas Markets. You will be supporting local businesses and you can find gifts for even the fussiest of relatives and friends.  The suburbs are full of these local Gold Coast Christmas markets and you can also find a great variety in the city.  Some of our favourite Christmas markets are:

Surfers Paradise Christmas Twilight Market

It’s time to get into the festive spirit and treat yourself, by heading down to the beachside to enjoy a range of local handmade gifts, terrific tunes, sweets and treats, entertainment for Santa’s little helpers, and to have a unique, unforgettable outdoor shopping experience in paradise.

You’ll find sand and market stalls…not snow along The Esplanade in Surfers Paradise from 4pm ‘til 9pm. It’s time to fill those Christmas stockings, or those empty spaces under the tree, because with over 100 stalls you’ll find it pretty hard not to treat yourself.

Where: The Esplanade, Surfers Paradise

Date: 9 December

Time: 4 – 9pm

Find more details about Surfers Paradise Christmas Twilight Market here.

Labrador Community Christmas Celebration

Get ready for the merriest event of the year! The Labrador Community Christmas Celebration returns on Friday, 1st December, at the Labrador State School oval. Join in for a night filled with live performances of carols, music acts, magic shows and entertainment, food trucks, market stalls, take your own Santa photo booth and fireworks.

Where: Labrador State School Oval

Date: 1 December

Time: 4 – 7:30pm

There are more details of Labrador Community Christmas Celebration here.

HOTA Christmas Twilight Market

The HOTA (Home of the Arts) Markets are back with an evening of festive fun to send you into Christmas with jolly vibes and GREAT gifts.

Make your Christmas hotter at HOTA with the region’s best gourmet street eats, decadent desserts, and bespoke one-of-a-kind gifts, all under twinkling festoon lights!

Wind your way through the market lanes to the sweet serenades of stunning live music, spot roving performers, snap a selfie with an elfie… or meet the big man himself – SANTA will definitely be there!

Where: 135 Bundall Road, Surfers Paradise

Date: 16 December

Time: 4 – 9pm

You can find the details of

You can find the details of HOTA Christmas Twilight Markets here.

Christmas Markets GC

Take the stress out of Christmas with friends and family and enjoy a relaxing stroll through a menagerie of unique gifts, taste the delectable Yuletide treats and tantalize the senses with the essence of real Christmas trees.

Nestled among an enchanting display of shimmering lights the Christmas Markets GC will set the scene for couples and families alike, whether it be a romantic wander for two or a fun-filled night out with the family.

Where: Broadwater Parklands

Date: Friday 15 – Sunday 17 December, 4pm – 10pm

There is more information on Christmas Markets GC here.

Photos with Santa

For some families, part of the Christmas time tradition is to get a family photo with Santa.  This year the photos will be socially distanced, but there is still a variety of places to go to get the photos done.  This includes shopping centres, local Christmas carol events, Gold Coast Christmas markets and you can even get a photo with Santa with your beloved fur baby at some pet shops!

Meeting Santa for most kids is exciting but if your child has a sensory process disorder like autism, it can be a challenging experience.  Some shopping centres are now offering ‘Sensory Santa’.  They create a calm and sensory-friendly photo session with dim lights and no music or loud noises.

Find out where to get your Santa photos on the Gold Coast here

Find out where to get PET Santa photos here

Christmas Lights Bus Tours

Unfortunately at the time of publishing this article, we could not find any Christmas lights bus tours BUT we have found the Gold Coast Canal Cruises team who are offering canal cruises to see the Christmas lights in 2023.

Cost: $30 – $45 – includes complimentary drink

Dates: Thursday, Fridays and Saturdays in December as well as Sunday 24 December and Thursday 28 December, 2023.

You nee to call them to book on 0410 403 020 – but here is their website so you can see more information.

Christmas Eve box ideas

Christmas Even boxes are a growing tradition for Christmas

There is a growing tradition of giving kids a Christmas Eve Box on the 24th of December to get them right into the spirit of Xmas. Some families I know use this additional gift as a way to get the kids to go to bed without a fuss on Christmas Eve. Whatever your reason for creating a Christmas Eve box, we’ve put together a few ideas for your kids (and one for the mummas too!) You can find all the details including pricing and where to buy their contents here.

Get ideas for your Christmas Eve boxes in our detailed guide here.

Christmas charity options on the Gold Coast

Another idea for the festive time of year is to spend some time volunteering for a charity. It’s a great way to give back and so much life experience for the children to be involved in. For a Christmas family activity with a difference think about donating to some of these great Christmas charity initiatives.

Christmas on the Gold Coast

So there is our list, we would love to hear if you think we left something off as we are always looking for new adventures. Pack the snacks, put on some comfy shoes and get out and enjoy all that the Gold Coast has to offer at Christmas time. And if Christmas shopping is on your festive agenda, check out these Gold Coast Christmas shops for more options!

Looking for a REAL Christmas tree on the Gold Coast this year? We know that too!

Join our Facebook group to jumpstart your Christmas planning all year long!

If you would like to be included in our article you can contact us for more information. Prices start at $295 + GST.

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Regina Gleeson

Regina is a fan of all things Christmas! As the Listings Editor of the popular Families Magazine she was instrumental in putting together the Christmas content in the print publication and on their website since its inception in 2013. She is extremely community-minded and makes it her personal mission to contribute content that is low cost (or free!) and suitable for families. This thirst for knowledge and desire to experience the things she writes about makes her an irreplaceable member of the team.

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